Dessert/ Featured Post/ Pumpkin/ Recipes

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard

Hailing from the mysterious countryside of Laos, Pumpkin Coconut Custard is pure sweet comfort food, Asian style. Soft, moist pumpkin is filled with creamy coconut custard then baked into sweet dessert deliciousness.

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

(In a rush? Click here to jump straight to the recipe!)

Okay so I’m gonna straight up level with you.

We’d actually planned to share a different recipe today.

But you know what? To be totally honest, neither of us was feeling it.

We didn’t have that fire in our guts to share it with you – now, now NOW – the way we normally do.

And we think you deserve better than that.

So instead of sharing the how-to’s of a basic pesto recipe that surely everyone knows by now (or you’ve got your favourite store brand sorted already), we’re going for something completely different.

Something suitably quirky, Wandercooks style.

Full of exotic worldly flavours, yet sweet and soft and moreish all at the same time.

Yep. That’s MUCH more like it.

We even have the seal of approval from our housemate – although her first reaction was “Why is it in a pumpkin!?”

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.comQuick note: There may be a couple of affiliate links in this post, which means that we may get a few cents if you purchase something through the link. We want to make sure some of our hard-to-find ingredients are reachable at the click of a button. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

This bizarre little Asian dessert recipe came into our lives in a city called Pakse, in southern Laos.

We were doing what we do best: Following our noses around this corner and that. Wandering laneways, dodging scooters, and scouring the town for unexpected foodie discoveries.

And then we found the Pumpkin Coconut Custard Man.

Or rather, we found Pumpkin Man’s stall outside his home, laid out with slices of baked pumpkins filled with coconut infused custard (the flavour of which we figured out later through sophisticated taste-testing methods 😛 😛 ).

It took us a few goes to get his attention, engrossed as he was in a Lao drama on his TV. But we managed to draw him outside and let him know we just HAD to try his quirky looking dessert.

One bite of that softly sweet pumpkin stuffed with creamy coconut custard and we were hooked.

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard is super easy to make at home, and the best part is that you won’t have to hunt for any hard-to-find ingredients.

All you need is:

  • A nice round punkin (ooh how Sarah hates it when I call them that 😛 ), not too big, yet deep enough to hold a decent amount of coconut custard.
  • A few eggs
  • Some coconut cream (or coconut milk with an extra dash of normal milk for creaminess)
  • A scoop of caster sugar
  • A dash of vanilla essence
  • And a pinch salt

Now I know it sounds like a strange mix. But trust us, this Southeast Asian dessert is a keeper.

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Arguably the hardest part of making Pumpkin Coconut Custard is carving through the top of the pumpkin, something I was more than happy to leave to Sarah.

She was so excited to pull out the massive cleaver we’ve had in our utensil drawer forever and never had the excuse to use…

(As I type, I’m sitting here watching her out of the corner of my eye, hoping that she’ll have all her fingers by the time I finish this sentence. Phew!)

…but to be honest you can use any sharp knife and it’ll be just as good (and probably easier).

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

Okay now all you awesome American readers, we need your help.

What are some quick and easy ways to prepare a pumpkin? It was just like Halloween over here this morning, except being Australians our pumpkin carving skills are woefully under-trained. 😛

If you’ve got any tips please spill the beans in the comments below.

And to all our Australian friends, it’s pumpkin season here right now. So we’ve got plenty of time to practice before Halloween rolls around in October. 😉

A couple of quick notes about cooking this recipe:

  • Hot water is a key ingredient to make sure your pumpkin coconut custard
    cooks / steams to perfection while it bakes. So don’t forget to pour an inch or so in your baking dish (not in the pumpkin, in case you were wondering 😉 ) before popping it all in the oven. Without the water, your pumpkin won’t get that lovely soft melty texture that makes this dish so lovely. We may or may not have learned both of these tips the hard way… >.>  <.<
  • Make sure to choose a smaller pumpkin. If it’s too big, the custard won’t set and all you’ll get is a runny mess. It’s okay for the custard to be ever-so-slightly… jiggly? Is jiggly the right word? I don’t know. I’m going with jiggly… when it’s finished cooking. It will set even further once it’s out of the oven and cooled down to room temperature. You can make this happen a little quicker by clearing a shelf in your fridge and popping in there for an hour or so.

Lao Pumpkin Coconut Custard - Smooth and creamy, this is one savoury sweet dessert that's perfect for parties and foodsharing. Vegetarian. | wandercooks.com

So there you have it. A soft, sweet and satisfying Lao dessert using everyday, easy to find ingredients. What do you think? Super keen to hear how you go so don’t forget to leave a comment below.

Lao cuisine is super satisfying and packed with interesting flavour combinations. Make your own Lao banquet at home with this delicious Lao Steamed Fish and a side of these Spicy Lao Dips  (don’t forget a slice of Pumpkin Coconut Custard for dessert 😛 :P). Oooh, and if you’re looking for breakfast deliciousness, check out our veggie-packed Simple Lao Omelette.

Click on the images below to jump to these tasty recipes:



5.0 from 3 reviews
Pumpkin Coconut Custard
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Hailing from the mysterious countryside of Laos, Pumpkin Coconut Custard is pure sweet comfort food, Asian style. Soft, moist pumpkin is filled with creamy coconut custard then baked into sweet dessert deliciousness.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Lao
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 150 degrees celsius.
  2. Slice a circle into the top of your pumpkin and scoop out the seeds, then pop the hollow pumpkin in a baking dish and set aside.
  3. Crack those eggs into a mixing bowl and throw in your sugar, vanilla essence and salt. Whisk whisk whisk til evenly mixed, then pour in your coconut cream and whisk a bit more.
  4. Pour the creamy custard mixture into your pumpkin, and a little hot water into your baking dish (aim for a couple of centimetres / 1 inch if you can). This'll help steam the pumpkin as it bakes. Now pop it in your oven and pop the kettle on for a cup of tea. You've got an hour and a half to wait until pumpkin and custard are cooked. Don't forget to check the custard occasionally by poking in a clean knife. If it comes out clean, your custard is set!
  5. Take out your pumpkin coconut custard deliciousness and allow to cool down to room temperature before slicing and serving.
Notes
Cool down your piping hot pumpkin a bit quicker by popping it in the fridge. Your pumpkin coconut custard will slice much more neatly once it's nice and cool. 😉

 

Newsletter

You Might Also Like

  • Sara
    05/11/2016 at 11:34 pm

    Do you think acorn squash May work? Maybe sílice the bottom so it stands up? I think that ‘s the closest to those Small pumpkins.

    • Wandercooks
      08/11/2016 at 11:08 am

      Hey Sara, definitely worth a shot! If you try it, let us know how you go! 🙂

  • Chara
    08/10/2016 at 6:15 am

    Hail from Colorado – Coconut Cream?? What is that? Where does one find it? We have coconut milk in cans here and coconut water but NOT cream. This looks amazing and I want to try it BUT I need to figure out the cream thing… Ideas?

    • Wandercooks
      13/10/2016 at 3:32 pm

      Hey Chara, thanks for stopping by! Coconut cream is thicker and richer than coconut milk, and it’s made by simmering four parts shredded coconut in one part water. If you’re keen to find out more, The Kitchn did a great article on the differences between coconut milk and cream. In terms of how to get some, maybe try checking out an Asian grocery if you have one nearby, or the Asian section in your local supermarket, or you could look online for coconut cream from places like Amazon (note that last one’s an affiliate link). 🙂

  • Victoria
    14/06/2016 at 10:43 pm

    This is something i am totally gonna have to make for my friends next time they come over! Last time i made anything with Pumpkin it was a Pumpkin Gruyere soup, and i put a little too much ginger in it, lol.

    • Wandercooks
      15/06/2016 at 11:35 am

      Well I definitely won’t be telling you about that time I made Chilli Beef Stirfry with waaaaaaayyyy too much chilli. That thing was nuclear. 😛 Hope you enjoy the Lao Pumpkin! 🙂 x

  • GiGi Eats
    08/06/2016 at 12:57 pm

    OOOOO MYYYY GOOOSHHHHH!! THIS THIS looks like HEAVEN!! IN A GOURD!

    • Wandercooks
      08/06/2016 at 1:34 pm

      Hahaha! Best. Comment. Ever!!! 😀 xx

  • April
    06/06/2016 at 10:56 am

    I don’t think it sounds like a strange mix. It reminds me of ingredients for pumpkin pie. I think this recipe sounds amazing. Gorgeous pictures too!

    • Wandercooks
      07/06/2016 at 11:51 am

      Oh true, I never thought of that! Pumpkin pie isn’t very common here in Australia but we’ve always been curious to give it a go. We’ll be sure to share the recipe with you if we do!

  • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
    06/06/2016 at 10:48 am

    Such a sophisticated presentation! Love every single bit of this.

    • Wandercooks
      07/06/2016 at 11:50 am

      Thanks Dorothy, we had a lot of fun cooking and photographing this one!

  • Matt @ Plating Pixels
    06/06/2016 at 10:30 am

    Love this unique recipe and totally have to find some pumpkins like that! Your photos are gorgeous too!

    • Wandercooks
      07/06/2016 at 11:49 am

      Thanks Matt, we used Jap pumpkins which are common in Australia but you could definitely experiment with other types to find which cooks and tastes best. All you need to do is make sure they’ve got a decent hollow inside to hold all your tasty coconut custard!

  • michele
    06/06/2016 at 10:24 am

    This sounds absolutely divine! I love things that come out of nowhere and just scream… this is delicious! Its really warm here right now, but honestly I don’t care. Im going to heat up the old oven and make this pronto! Thanks for blowing off the pesto, this sounds sooooo yummy!

    • Wandercooks
      07/06/2016 at 11:48 am

      Hahah no problemo Michele, we’re glad we blew off the pesto too. 😛 Don’t forget to serve this dessert cold for extra tasty summertime deliciousness.

  • Sarah
    06/06/2016 at 9:46 am

    Oh my word! Coconut is one of my favorite flavors…I just love it! This custard sounds like something I need to try soon and I have a feeling that I’ll just love every single bit of it! 🙂

    • Wandercooks
      07/06/2016 at 11:47 am

      Thanks Sarah! Hope you enjoy!

    Are you a curious foodie?  Join the edible adventure!

    x